Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Trad Tuesday - Tramps and Hawkers sung by Old Blind Dogs

Tramps and Hawkers is an old Scottish song supposed written by 'Besom Jimmy' in the 1800s. Another Jimmy, surname MacBeath, brought the song to the attention of modern songsmiths and it has been sung by The Dubliners, Luke Kelly, and the Battlefield Band. I happen to prefer this version by Old Blind Dogs.

Tramps And Hawkers

19th Century        
from the singing of Jimmy MacBeath    
Oh come a’ ye tramps an hawkers an gaitherers o bla,              
That tramps the country roon an roon, come listen ane and a’
I’ll tell tae you a rovin tale and sights that I have seen
Far up into the snowy North and South by Gretna Green

I have seen the high Ben Nevis a-towerin to the moon,
I’ve been by Crieff and Callander and roon by bonnie Doune,
And by the Nethy’s silvery tides an places ill tae ken                   
Far up into the snowy North lies Urquhart’s bonny glen

Aftimes I’ve lauched into myself when I’m trudging on the road,
Wi a bag o bla upon my back, my face as broon’s a toad,
Wi lumps o cakes an tattie scones an cheese an braxy ham,            
Nae thinking whaur I’m comin fae nor whaur I’m gaun tae gang

I’m happy in the summertime beneath the bricht blue sky,
Nae thinking in the morning at nicht whaur I’ve tae lie.
Barns or byres or anywhere or oot among the hay,
And if the weather does permit I’m happy every day

Oh Loch Katrine and Loch Lomon’ have a’ been seen by me,
The Dee, the Don, the Deveron that hurries into the sea,
Dunrobin Castle, by the way, I nearly had forgot,
An aye the rickles o cairn marks the Hoose o John o Groat.

I’m often roon by Gallowa or doon aboot Stranraer,
Ma business leads me anywhere, sure I travel near an far.
I’ve got a rovin notion, there’s nothing what I loss,
An a’ my day’s my daily fare and what’ll pey ma doss.

I think I’ll go tae Paddy’s land, I’m makin up my min’
For Scotland’s greatly altered now, sure I canna raise the win’
But I will trust in Providence, if Providence will prove true
An I will sing of Erin’s Isle when I come back to you.

: often
Bla: blaw, travellers’ cant for oatmeal
Braxy ham: salted meat from a sheep that died of braxy, an intestinal disease
Cairn: landmark heap of stones
Doss: night’s lodging
Erin’s Isle: Ireland
Ill tae ken: of bad repute
John o Groat/Groats: furthest north building in Scotland
Lauched: laughed
Loss: lose, miss
Paddy’s Land: Ireland
Pey: pay
Rickles : loose heaps

from: http://sangstories.webs.com/trampsandhawkers.htm

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